We lost a friend…Richard in Kauai…Little did we know…

Richard joined us for dinner on St. Patrick’s Day at a local restaurant.

Our hearts are heavy today. We lost a friend. Our dear friend Richard Turner, who stuck-like-glue from the moment we met him on January 24, 2015, the day we joined the Makai Country Club only days after our arrival in Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii. (Please click here for the link to the day we met Richard).

Little did we know…that meeting this special man would turn our four-month stay in Kauai into a whirlwind of an enriching and highly enjoyable social life with friendships we made for life including with him and his dear wife Elaine.

Little did we know…the friendship with Richard would be so short when yesterday, 13 months later, he passed away in his sleep, never to awaken to see the face of beloved wife Elaine and treasured cat, Daisy Mae. 

Elaine and Richard joined us for lunch at the local Westin Hotel where we languished in their company engaged in delightful conversation, as always.

He leaves in his wake a plethora of those who loved him;  family, friends and neighbors, and a world of clients with whom he diligently worked for decades as an attorney in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, all who admired his generosity of spirit and time as breathtaking in today’s hurried world. 

About eight years ago, he, Elaine, and Daisy Mae moved to Kauai to the home they’d owned for years and planned for eventual retirement. Overlooking the ocean, Richard was proud of his lovely home and shared its many treasures with us only days after we met. (Please click here for Part 1 of the tour of Elaine and Richard’s lovely home and here for Part 2 when he introduced us to the nesting Laysan Albatross in his neighborhood).

Little did we know…that meeting Richard would provide us with the pleasure we experienced from the many people we met at an endless array of parties and social events that we’d be gifted with the joy of regularly visiting the albatross and their eventual chicks, another of our favorite memories of Kauai.

Richard had finished off his garage to hold his magistrate’s desk he’d shipped from Missouri to Kauai. He was excited to share this favorite possession from his life as an attorney in Missouri.

Yesterday, I wrote the following in a Facebook comment with a photo we’d taken shortly after meeting Richard when he invited us to his home to meet Elaine: “We spent many hours together with Richard and his wife Elaine. He will be dearly missed by many who had the privilege of knowing this kind and caring ambassador of friendship and love.”

That was Richard, an ambassador of friendship and love. He had a magical way of bringing people together with a sense of pride in doing so as a parent who’d step back to watch the progression of friendships among the people he loved the most.

After we left Kauai on May 23, 2015, four months later, our hearts filled with appreciation for his love and friendship. He called us, “blue eyes and the Irishman” an endearing term that addressed every encounter and every precious email after we left. We often referred to him as “Ricky” and he never flinched. 

Tom and Richard had an instant bond, one he’ll always treasure.  They equally loved sharing their corny “guy” jokes and stories.

We never lost touch with Richard in this past year for more than a few days at a time, as he continually teased us to give up our world travels and move to Kauai to live in his neighborhood.

Little did we know…that had we ever decided to give up our continuing life of travel which began 40 months ago to live in Kauai, we’d have done so more to be close to him, Elaine, and the many people he introduced us to, than any other reason in the world.

However short our friendship, he’ll remain in our hearts forever. Rest in peace, dear friend. Little did we know…you’d leave us all so soon…

Photo from one year ago today, March 1, 2015:

With little wildlife in Kauai, other than chickens and roosters, we find ourselves more attracted to birds than we’ve been in the past.   These Zebra Doves are commonly seen in Kauai although not native to the Hawaiian Islands. Click here for more photos of Kauai.

Off we go!…Final expenses for Kauai…Over budget in one category only…

Our final video of the Laysan Albatross.  Great for a huge chuckle. Nature is amazing!

Today, we fly away to Oahu to stay overnight at Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach. We used points we’d accumulated to pay for the hotel using the link on our site for Hotels.com.

We chose this hotel when our intent was to be close to Cheeseburger in Paradise, our favorite Waikiki restaurant, and to have easy access to walking along the beach boulevard, Kalakaua Avenue.

Tom had wanted to have a photo with the car since we first noticed it in downtown Hanalei. Finally, during our last few days, we got it done.

Tomorrow around noon we’ll grab a taxi to take us the short distance to the pier in Honolulu, where our ship, Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas will be ready for boarding. Need I say, for the zillionth time, we’re kind of excited?

The final packing and cleaning of the condo are complete, and we’re all set to go. Check-out time is 10:00 am but our flight isn’t until 1:30 pm so we’ll take our time getting out the door when the cleaning people aren’t due to arrive until 10:30.

After the first half-hour, the clouds rolled in and it began to rain in the mountains.

Yesterday, I began calculating the final expenses to share here today. These calculations include every expense we’ve incurred in Kauai for a total of 128 days with the exception of clothing and supply purchases we’ve made during the lengthy stay.  Here they are:

Rent (128 nights):                           $ 9,000.00 (special rate for long term stay, web exposure)
Car Rental & Fuel:                              3,492.32
Airfare to and from Kauai:                     576.00
Tours & Entertainment:                         450.00
Dining in Restaurants:                           905.92
Groceries & Household Products:          5,679.79
Total Expenses:                            $20,104.03

Average Cost per Day:                  $     157.06
Average Cost per Month:              $  4,777.24

We are pleasantly surprised with the totals although we were over on the budgeted amount for groceries by $579.79 when originally we estimated food costs at $5100. (Tom says that we were only over budget by $4.52 each day. No big deal, right?)

Most of our food purchases include mostly organic vegetables (when available), grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, free-range organic chicken and butter and bake a few items with expensive coconut flour at $8.95 for 12 ounces and almond flour at $15 for 12 ounces. Of course, the extra costs for these added considerably to the totals.

A group of tourists from a couple of tour vans walked along the pier with the guy in the blue shirt singing and playing the ukulele. Most likely they were cruise passengers out on a day tour from Norwegian’s Pride of America.

As an alternative view of our food expenses, we never eat more than two meals per day and purchase no snacks or munching type foods other than quality cheeses, meats, and nuts.  

We use organic real cream in our coffee. We’ve fed the birds no less than $25 of raw nuts. We buy no canned or bottled sodas (other than Sprite Zero for Tom’s occasional cocktail) and we only drink iced tea. Also, we’ve replaced most of the staples we used during our stay that were on hand when we arrived including paper products and cleaning supplies.

The point in Hanalei with the shape of a dragon on the side facing us inspired the song “Puff the Magic Dragon.”

When you consider the above grocery bill, it averages $44.37 per day. Considering the quality of the food we’ve consumed, we find this total to be acceptable, especially when dining out wouldn’t guarantee food quality with an average cost of $68 including tip, for a meal at a casual local restaurant without cocktails, appetizers or desserts. 

If we’d eaten dinner out every night, we’d have spent another $3,024.64 and still had to purchase household goods and miscellaneous items for breakfast and snacks.  

If one lived in Kauai long term and enjoyed making quality meal, occasionally dining out, and visiting various sites, we estimate the monthly cost with a modest rent, food, dining out, and a car rental it could be approximately $4500 a month.

This was the view when we sat in our chairs in the sand.

We didn’t have to include the cost of the hotel in Poipu for my birthday when this room was also booked using a “free night.” However, we did include meals, fuel, and miscellaneous in the appropriate categories.

As I upload this post, within minutes, we’ll be running around checking every nook and crannies for any items we may have missed. We’ll place the door key back in the lockbox and be on our way.

We’ll be back tomorrow morning from the hotel in Oahu with an update on the flight, dinner in Honolulu, and an assessment of the hotel. If time allows and we get connected on the ship’s wifi, we may write a short blurb with a few photos of our first impressions aboard the ship. If not, we’ll be back on Monday morning with the scoop.

As the chick’s fluffy feathers fall away, the new feathers quickly fill in. We’d love to see as this progresses and will be able to do so by watching this live webcam from Cornell Labs.

Dear Readers, thanks for hanging in there with us all of these months. We realize at times, our stories were a stretch and perhaps a bit mundane. Let’s face it, daily life in itself isn’t always exciting and eventful. It was a long haul we may never repeat in one location. Also, it was a long stretch  coming up with stories and photos during the eight months in Hawaii.

Please stay tuned and look forward to new adventures to begin aboard ship for 18 nights, across the International Dateline, the equator and living in Australia beginning on June 11th.

Bye, bye, Birdie!  You’ve made it all the more wonderful!

Birdie sitting on the railing of the lanai trying to get us to bring out the nuts. How could we ever refuse when we heard this song?

Have a safe Memorial weekend!

                                             Photo from one year ago today, May 23, 2014:

The entire village of Campanario is built on the side of a mountain.  The roads are steep and winding like nothing we’d ever seen.  There were tunnels everywhere, older ones made with stone walls.  For more details on that date, please click here.

Shopping and trying on clothes…Haven’t done that in awhile…Remembering a funny shoe story…Four days and counting…

The boutique, Azure, had a wide array of quality women’s and men’s clothing.

Feeling better yesterday, the last day taking the antibiotic Cipro which had finally had done its job, I was anxious to go shopping for a few things to wear on dress-up nights on the upcoming cruises. 

The boutique clothing store Azure, had caught my eye on a few walks through the Princeville Mall over these past four months. Of course, it caters to its local demographics, the senior population, with lots of flowing, Hawaiian themed flowered print tops, a style that has never appealed to my tastes. Fortunately, they had numerous other options more appealing to me.

With the long sleeve white dress shirt we’d ordered for Tom which is still in the plastic package avoiding becoming wrinkled until we board the ship and hang it up and, his black pants, that’s about as dressy as its going to be for him.

In an attempt to avoid over dressing as his “date” I decided that a few casual dressy shirts and tops, my style, not too flowing and not too flowery, would be an excellent find. 

Connie knew the store’s merchandise well, making this rare shopping experience as easy as possible.

In the past few days, I’d already tossed a number of clothing items to lighten the load to make way for new items. I tossed a pair of jeans shorts that were always too small, seemingly marked the wrong size when I received others at the same time, in the same style and size that did fit me. Out of the country at the time, it made no sense to return the one mis-marked pair of shorts. Instead, I’ve carried them around for two years! 

Also, yesterday I decided to toss my water shoes. With a design flaw, they hurt my feet, causing blisters, and would likely do the same to others if I donated them. I’d worn them once in Belize when we were on a tour through the rain forest when I looked down to see a black thing on the shoe, thinking it was a giant black bug.   I screamed hysterically. Everyone in the tour group laughed, especially Tom, when I realized it was an item on the shoe as shown in the photo below. 

That event transpired before we spent almost nine months in Africa. I don’t scream over bugs or, possible bugs anymore.  I flick them away or get Tom to scoop them up with the broom and dustpan. 

Now, I’m down to five pairs of shoes; one pair of Africa boots, one pair of workout shoes, one pair of white leather Keds and two pairs of sandals, one black, one tan.

Walking on a tour through the rain forest in Belize in February 2013, I looked down to see this black thing on my shoe, thinking it was a big black bug. I screamed. I no longer scream when I see bugs after spending almost nine months in Africa. I got over it. We still laugh over this shoe thing.

Also, I tossed two worn tee shirts, one worn pair of workout pants, and a pair of black Capris I’ve carried around since day one in our travels. I need to complain about those black Capris. They were of good quality that fit well in the legs and hips, to a point. 

Then, that low slung hip hugger thing kicked in that made them sit in a place on my hips where they’d fall down every time I moved. What’s the deal with that? I know I’ve written on this topic in the past, but it continues to baffle me when this style simply doesn’t seem to change as the years go by.

Whoever thought that mature women (over 30) would be interested in wearing hip huggers, no matter their shape and size must have been nuts. We have a waist, a natural indentation in most of our shapes, that’s a logical spot for the “waistband” of pants to sit. I get the disgust over “mom jeans” which I don’t wear. But, I do see a certain appeal for a slightly below the waist cut on jeans and pants. With a little stretch in the fabric and a good fit, a pleasing look may be accomplished for most women.

Due to my picky attitude over this reality and my tall stature with a 35-inch inseam, buying pants is nearly impossible for me. The only jeans I’ve found that fit me are from Old Navy when ordering an extra long in my size. A year ago, I ordered three pairs of jeans that we had shipped to Madeira along with other items. These should last me for years to come.

The boutique is arranged to take advantage of every bit of space, leaving many options for shoppers.

As a result, I have a few bottoms other than jeans and shorts, especially nothing dressy other than two skirts, one cream, and one black. Oh, what I’d give right now for an extra tall pair of white jeans. I have no choice but to wear my workout ankle length leggings that actually look OK when the top is appropriately dressed up, worn as an alternative to the skirts.

Last week, when Tom drove to Lihue to get another rental car, he was unable to list me as a driver of the car when I wasn’t in attendance to sign the documents. Subsequently, I am unable to drive the rental car these few remaining days.

Having Tom wait in the car while I try on clothes didn’t bother me or make me feel rushed. He never complains while I  grocery shop and this occasion would be no different.  He sits in the car, windows open reading his book, totally entertained for as long as necessary.

He dropped me off at the front of the store.  Hesitantly, I entered, not optimistic I’d find much of anything.  Meeting Connie, the helpful salesperson at Azure made the painful experience easier. Not painful in an illness kind of way. Painful in, who likes to try on clothes in a tiny, hot, non-air-conditioned dressing room in Hawaii or anywhere for that matter? Not I.

I’ve never been attracted to silky, flowing tops.  As for dresses, they take up too much space and weight in my single clothing bag.

Perhaps this is the reason why I haven’t shopped in a store in so many years, other than the few items I purchased in Boston last September when dear cousin Phyllis took me to a mall to Victoria’s Secret to purchase three bras (which by the way, are holding up very well. I think I can make it with these for another few years). 

After getting a pull-on shirt stuck over my head and shoulders almost having to ask for help, I decided to call it a day. I’d made a pile of six items, spending $290, surprised over the good prices. 

Connie did an amazing job of helping me pick out what I liked. Oh, what did I like? I had no idea when I hadn’t shopped in so long. We figured it out and I’m thrilled with my purchases, none of which remind me of the loose flowery tops with shoulder pads that my mother wore in the ’80s.

Finally, I was back in the car with Tom. As soon as I sat in my seat, Tom cranked up the AC when he saw sweat dripping off my brow. I guzzled my awaiting mug of iced tea. Maybe I wasn’t totally recovered enough to partake in such a vigorous clothes-trying-on session. I hadn’t exerted myself beyond folding laundry and cooking easy dinners in almost two weeks.

Luckily, after Connie helped me scour through the racks of merchandise, I was able to find six items to purchase.

I’d thought of taking all the items I purchased out of the bag and laying them on the bed to take photos to post here. But, Connie folded each item so neatly that they’ll be easy to pack. Instead, we plan to take more photos of us on the cruise as has been requested by some of our readers. 

As for packing, the third bag and duffel bag are done. Yesterday, we washed our jeans and shorts and bleached all of our white clothing which we do when moving to a new location. We packed the duffel bag with all of the jeans which we always carry on the flights. It weighs about 40 pounds which prevents us from paying extra weight fees we’d incur if these jeans were packed in our respective single bags.

Our total checked luggage: two large bags, one medium bag. As for carry-on: the duffel bag with the jeans, one computer bag with both laptops, the pill bag, and my purse all of which fits on our one remaining wheeling cart.  That’s all we own, folks, all of our worldly goods. That’s still hard for us to believe.

Almost neon-colored flowers we found on a walk.

Over the next three days, we’ll begin to post favorite photos we’ve taken in Kauai with a few from Maui, Big Island, and Oahu as we leave the state of Hawaii at long last. On Saturday, when we leave Kauai, we’ll post our final expenses for the four-plus months we’ve lived in Kauai.

On Sunday, we’ll post our one-night experience in Honolulu staying overnight in a hotel and heading back to a restaurant we loved. On Monday after boarding the ship on Sunday afternoon, we’ll post photos of our cabin, the ship and our boarding experience and then…the fun will begin.

Have a great Tuesday!

                                              Photo from one year ago today, May 19, 2014:

In Madeira, Portugal, as in other countries we’ve had to put a coin into the grocery cart in order to release it. The coin is returned when the cart is hooked back up to the chains. For more details on grocery shopping when all labels are in Portuguese, please click here.

Tour rained out…Trip to tourist town of Hanalei…Interesting morsel about the tiny town…Tour rescheduled for tomorrow…

A juice bar on wheels in Hanalei.

With heavy rains off and on all day yesterday, we decided to forgo our planned tour postponing it until Thursday. We always prefer sunny-day photo sharing when possible and also prefer to avoid getting our equipment wet in the rain. Why ruin our camera when it may have another year of life before the humidity ruins the lens?

A pub in Hanalei.

Instead, we decided to head to the cozy town of Hanalei which would enable us to wander the areas, check out a few shops, and mostly stay dry. Kauai is an island centered around outdoor activities with few indoor venues available anywhere on the island, except for dining establishments.

The bar at the popular Dolphin Restaurant.

We’d made enough dinner with leftovers for last night’s meal when we’d expected to return from the tour around 6 pm. Preferring not to eat out except on special social occasions due to a lack of options for me, whenever we have plans that may take us to the dinner hour, we plan ahead making extra meals.

These types of handcrafted glassware items often appeal to tourist shoppers.

It’s not as if there are “fast food” options available for me, making planning in advance. for such occasions logical and relatively easy. Recently, I perused the precooked deli case at the Foodland to see if there was anything that would work for me not finding a single entrée or salad that would be appropriate. 

The larger of the two Koi wood bowls is $1500, similar to a bowl we’d posted while in Lahaina, Maui several months ago.

When we took off for Hanalei in the rain, we did so knowing dining out wouldn’t make sense when we already had a full meal awaiting us at home. Part of that mentality is also precipitated by our ongoing desire to avoid being wasteful. Based on this article, 40% of all food purchased for the average home in the US is thrown away. 

These handcrafted plates were pricey, many over $100 each.

With careful planning, I’d speculate, we don’t toss more than 10% of our food, most of which is due to spoilage.  Although we carefully plan our meals and make purchases accordingly, food spoils. At times, we’ve purchased food that spoils in a matter of days, mainly organic produce which generally seems to have a short shelf life when not coated in chemicals. For that reason, we’re totally accepting of the potential spoilage factor.

The colors of the glass varied for a beautiful display in this shop in Hanalei..

Hanalei is a pleasant town, most of which is located on the main road through town, the Kuhio Highway, with the beach, homes, and some businesses located on the side roads.

These quirky glasses were almost $100 each.

Hanalei is located near the mouth of the Hanalei River on the north shore of the island. Surprisingly, according to the United States Census Bureau, the town itself only has a total area of .8 square miles, of which .6 square miles is land and .2 miles is water.

This colorful glass was made in the colors of the sea.

Hanalei means “lei making” in Hawaiian. Alternatively, the name Hanalei also means “crescent bay” and may be indicative of the shape of Hanalei Bay.

Less than 500 residents occupy the little town but, it’s known for the following facts that we gleaned from this site (accuracy not guaranteed):

  • Hanalei was the backdrop of several film productions, such as the 1958 musical film South Pacific. Scenes were filmed in the town itself and at Lumahai Beach to the west of Hanalei.
  • Those who explain the Peter Paul & Mary song “Puff, the Magic Dragon” as a marijuana metaphor explain that Puff’s homeland “Hanah Lee” is actually the town of Hanalei, which, according to them, is renowned for its marijuana. The cliffs on the side of the beach are said to look like a dragon. This interpretation was rejected by the song’s authors. (As we recently mentioned in another post).
  • The beach at Hanalei Bay was selected No. 1 on “Dr. Beach” Stephen Leatherman‘s 2009 list of top 10 beaches.
  • Hanalei was mentioned in “Twin Peaks” as a place of residence for the town psychiatrist and his wife. Scenes for the movie “The Descendants” starring George Clooney were filmed in and around Hanalei, on the beach at Hanalei Bay, and in nearby Princeville.
  • A song titled “Hanalei” was a part of the I’m With You Sessions by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2013.
Surf and clothing shop in Hanalei Bay.

As for the history of Hanalei:

“In the early 19th century the Imperial Russians were present here. In 1815 the German physician and agent of the Russian-American Company, Georg Anton Schäffer, came to the Hawaiian islands to retrieve goods seized by Kaumualiʻi, chief of Kauai island.

These carefully wrapped kayaks are available for rent to navigate the Hanalei River.

On arrival he became involved with internal Hawaiian politics, and Kaumualiʻi planning and manipulating to reclaim his own kingdom of Kauai from Kamehameha I with the help of the Russian Empire. Kaumualiʻi signed a “treaty” granting Tsar Alexander I protectorate over Kauai. From 1817 to 1853 Fort Elizabeth, near the Waimea River, and two other Russian forts near Hanalei were part of the tsarist Russian America.”

Wandering through the town definitely gave us a sense of its history and culture. It’s a popular tourist town with an inordinate number of restaurants, according to TripAdvisor’s mention of 39 dining establishments, bars, and coffee shops which even includes a food truck. 

New photo of Hanalei Bay from a sunnier day.

Traffic wasn’t as dense in the rain as many held newspapers and tour books over their heads as they dashed from location to location or returning to their cars. Parking is always at a premium. The shops are the typical pricey tourist town shops, many with upscale quality merchandise and others with $15 tee shirts and hats. There’s a little bit of everything for budget-minded tourists. 

Some local residents travel to the Foodland in Princeville to grocery shop or for better prices, head to the Safeway in Kapaa, a 45-minute drive. Many in Hanalei, once a month, make the 75-minute drive to Lihue to Walmart and Costco as is the case for many Princeville residents that make the lesser 60-minute drive. 

Another new view of Hanalei Bay taken on a sunny day.

We giggle over how often we hear of locals heading to Costco to do the bulk of their shopping. Although we love Costco, it’s not easy to find many of the ingredients we use in preparing our meals grass-fed meat, and organic veggies. At this point with about six weeks remaining until we depart, making “big volume” purchases at Costco makes little sense.

In any case, we had a pleasant few hours taking photos, finally heading back home to Princeville to our cozy spot, our pleasant condo with views of Hanalei Bay from our lanai.

                                            Photo from one year ago today, April 8, 2014:

Gosh, I loved those wonderful meals Madame Zahra made for us. The fried items were aubergine (eggplant) dipped in an egg (no flour) and sauteed in olive oil. I should make that. It was delicious. Tom didn’t care for the meals as much as I did. Please click here for details from that date.

Visitors to our home over past few days…Human kind, that is…

With all the rain these past days, its been easy to spot the waterfalls.

Our condo, although perfect for the two of us, is not ideal for entertaining guests. With the bedroom located at the end of the main living area and the dining table at the other end, it could be a bit awkward having guests.

But, with our easy attitude about not fussing over details in our daily lives, we welcome whoever crosses the door of our temporary home no matter where we live including here in Kauai.

Today there’s a bit of sunshine.  Yesterday, the mountains were covered in thick clouds and vog (volcanic smoke and fog).
Tom, friendly sort that he is, has met several people across the street at the lookout, where he wanders several times per day to whale watch. Not only is the walk back and forth good for him but, he has the fabulous opportunity to meet new people, two couples of which he’s invited over in the past several days either to meet me and/or get out of the pouring rain.

Most often the couples he meets at the looking are leaving soon. How wonderful it would be that they were staying for longer periods like us. But, for however long we make the acquaintance of others, our lives are enriched in many ways.

The morning before Julie departed we took one last trip to the overlook of Hanalei Bay.

When we first arrived in Kauai over two months ago, we met another fabulous couple, Vicki and Jerry, on the beach in Hanalei spending the entire afternoon together. We engaged in lively conversation finding our lives parallel in many ways in their diverse travel experience and the manner in which they relish the quality of their lives. 

Here’s the link to that day’s post in Hanalei with Vicki and Jerry, with photos of all of us.

Cloudy days have a certain appeal in Kauai.

We’ve been very fortunate to continue meeting many people here in Kauai. Although many leave for their other homes in other locations, we find ourselves entrenched in ongoing social activities, many attributable to Richard who has taken on the role of our personal social director and now, a lifelong friend. 

Every week Richard seems to pop up with another new plan to enhance our social calendar which we’ve yet to refuse to participate in; dinner parties, full moon parties, house parties, local senior events, and of course, his charming companionship of which we never tire.

I never tire of taking photos of the beautiful African Tulips.

The only other place we’d lived in these past 29 months that has afforded us so much social activity was Marloth Park, South Africa, where the human-kind visitors were as plentiful as the animal-kind. 

Now, here in Kauai, the animal visitors are limited to whale and dolphin watching and the birds, the glorious Laysan albatross, and of course, the endless array of other birds who’s photos we’ve posted regularly. 

After spending considerable time trying to figure out every type of pod growing on trees in Kauai, I’ve given up. It appears that many such pods simple bloom into the leaves of the various trees.  Now with spring in the air, I may be able to determine otherwise and prove myself wrong.

Kauai is not ripe with wildlife other than avian and marine types. Our friends Bev and Sam have told us many stories about the feral pigs in Kauai invading their property and the complex measures they’ve found necessary to implement to reduce their invasion.

Yes, we do miss the abundance of wildlife in Africa and we always will, hoping someday to return. In the meantime, we’re content with the abundance of the human-kind and of course, the growing albatross chicks down the road which we check on every few days. 

Tomorrow, we’ll begin preparing our tax stuff for our accountant in Nevada, a task I’ve put off for far too long.  It’s the one thing I tend to procrastinate over, year after year. Otherwise, I’m “johnnie on the spot” on other such tedious responsibilities. 

Look at the size of this Laysan albatross chick! They are growing fast.  Every few days we drive to the neighborhood to see their progress. Oftentimes, the chicks are left alone for many days while the parents head out to sea for food returning to regurgitate a huge portion for the chicks. As the chicks get fatter and fatter, they are easily able to survive on their fat for water and sustenance until their mom and dad return.

As soon as I complete and upload the post on Monday morning, I’ll start compiling the necessary components to piece the tax stuff altogether, ugh! I commend those of you who are ahead of this painstaking process each year. 

Once it’s completed, I’ll feel free to return to joining Tom in our endless pursuit of “where do we go next.” This, dear readers, is a task filled with pure joy and adventure.

Happy Sunday! 

                                           Photo from one year ago today, March 22, 2014:

The maze-like structures of the souks in the Big Square never ceased to be confusing. Walking to the far edges of the souks, it was only Tom’s great sense of direction that enabled us to find our way back to our house located “smack dab” in the center of the Jemaa el Fna souk, one of the most famous souks in the world. For details, please click here.

Julie’s last moments in Kauai…Tender…Touching…Terrific…A brilliant sunset!…

Oh, sun, what you do to us in our perpetual pursuit of the perfect sunset.

Yesterday, Julie and I returned to several of her favorite spots before she had to leave for the airport to return to her home in Los Angeles, California.  We revisited several of her favorite spots; the town on Hanalei for another sushi roll at the fish market behind Dolphin restaurant; a visit to see the Laysan albatross chicks and their parents; a stop at the overlook on the road to Hanalei.

A view of few tide pools from the grounds of the condos across the street.

She went with me on her last trip to the Princeville Center to the Foodland grocery store to buy ingredients to make a pu pu to share for tonight’s movie night at Bev and Sam’s home.  It will be the last movie night for us with our pending upcoming departure in two months.

Hideaway’s Beach at dusk.

A trip to Foodland became a laugh fest for Julie and I with the parking lot always filled with hens, chicks and roosters scurrying about hoping for a crumb from shoppers and diners from the various nearby cafes and restaurants. 

In a good spot to see the sunset, we couldn’t help but relish this view.

We laughed a lot about the chickens which are found everywhere one goes in Kauai, whether the parking lot at a market, a farmer’s market, a roadside stand, the sand at the beach or on the side of the road as one drives in any direction.

Although some locals protest over their annoyance, most are tolerant and some even find them endearing as we do.  Their constant presence is another reason for Kauai’s charm, found in every direction, down every road.

What a view!

To add to Julie’s final day, I made a dinner of corned beef and cabbage which I’d hoped to make on St. Patrick’s Day when instead we went out to dinner, the three of us and friend Richard.  With her flight not until 10:00 pm, it all worked out well.

A week ago, Foodland had offered a coupon that could be used for a free uncooked corned beef, you know, the one in the plastic with the little packet of spices along with a head of cabbage.  Of course, I used my “accumulated points” on my rewards card for the corned beef and head of cabbage.

Every Friday evening around sunset, we can see Norwegian’s Pride of America at over a mile from shore, as it passes on it’s week long cruise throughout all of the Hawaiian Islands.

When Julie and I returned from the grocery store, we noticed extra pairs of shoes outside our door upon entering.  Opening the door we saw Tom sitting at our dining table with a couple he’d met across the street at the lookout when he was whale watching, somewhat of an obsession he’s taken up this past months.

There sat Cheryl and Paul, a lovely couple, a bit younger than us, who by coincidence were also from Minnesota.  Tom had invited them over when pelting rain suddenly poured from the sky as they all were whale watching.

Yesterday, it rained most of the day and dark clouds were still looming.

The lively conversation was easy to step into.  They stayed for another hour as we exchanged email addresses hoping to be in touch before they leave in another week.  How funny!  My hubby “picking up” a lovely couple and bringing them home in the rain.  That’s my guy!

Adding to last night’s dinner was the leftover homemade German Chocolate cake that both Julie and Tom savored over a few days.  I also included those giant Grands biscuits, a treat for Julie and Tom, boiled potatoes and rainbow carrots cooked in the pot during the last 90 minutes. 

As the sun makes it’s final descent.  Its hard to believe how quickly the sunset disappears from sight.

We savored the dinner at 6:00 pm to ensure Julie had plenty of time for last minute details and for us to take a quick trip across the road to see the sunset from the grounds of the condo complex.  This explains today’s sunset photos.

A stunning view of Holes 6 and 7 at the Makai Golf Course that overlooks the ocean.

Saying goodbye to Julie we wondered when we’d see each other again when our plans include two years in the South Pacific, a very long distance from the US.  I held back the tears in an effort to stay strong for my younger sister (eight years), but she succumbed, sad and bereft over what the future holds as to when we’ll see each other once again.

A long Kolea bird on the grass at our feet.

I’ve often reminded her that on occasion with her living in Los Angeles and us in Minnesota, there were many periods of time that we wouldn’t see each other for a few years, staying in close touch by phone as we do now.  But, she says, that’s different.  We’ll be so far away.  We understand.  Its the nature of our lives.

Shortly after taking the above photos, Tom quickly drove us over to his favorite lookout spot when we got these final shot.  We don’t know the guy in this photo.

Now, Tom and I are settled back into our easy routine, firmly ensconced in our pleasant day to day lives, free of stress and worry, filled with the joy of our exquisite current surroundings and possessing a twinkle in our eyes of what is yet to come.

Moments later, darkness fell and we wandered back indoors.

Today, we’ll clean our condo and I’ll make our pu pu for tonight, a apricot almond Brie en croute with a variety of crackers.  Its nothing I can eat but perhaps a bite of last night’s leftovers of tender corned beef, cabbage and carrots will be on the menu before we head out the door.

Its Saturday night!  Enjoy!

Photo from one year ago today, March 21, 2014:

As we’ve traveled the world, we’ve made a point of watching movies about the country in which we’re living.  A year ago living in Morocco, we watched one of my favorite movies, Casablanca which was a first for Tom.  For details from that date, please click here.

Today, the vernal equinox for the Northern Hemisphere….Super moon and solar eclipse to boot! How weather and seasons determine our itinerary…

I took this photo a few minutes ago from our lanai. It’s been raining overnight and the waterfalls on the mountains are clearly visible. What a beautiful site!

Weather and seasons hold a tremendous significance for us in our world travels. Today, the first official day of spring is described as follows from the famous “Farmers Almanac” a reliable source of information used for the past over 200 years after its onset in 1792:

“Astronomically speaking, the March equinox occurs when the Sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north along the ecliptic.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the March equinox is known as the vernal, or spring, equinox, and marks the start of the spring season.

In the Southern Hemisphere, this equinox is known as the autumnal, or fall, equinox and marks the start of the fall season; the vernal equinox for the Southern Hemisphere occurs in September.
The March equinox happens at the same moment across the world, but is converted to local time. In 2015, it falls on March 20 at 6:45 P.M. EDT, 5:45 P.M. CDT, 4:45 P.M. MDT, and 3:45 P.M. PDT, for example.

Meteorologically speaking, however, in the Northern Hemisphere the official spring season always begins on March 1 and continues through May 31. Summer begins on June 1; autumn, September 1; and winter, December 1.

Weather scientists divide the year into quarters this way to make it easier to compare seasonal and monthly statistics from one year to the next. The meteorological seasons are based on annual temperature cycles rather than on the position of Earth in relation to the Sun, and they more closely follow the Gregorian calendar. Using the dates of the astronomical equinoxes and solstices for the seasons would present a statistical problem because these dates can vary slightly each year.”

On top of the vernal equinox is tonight’s super moon, as quoted from this website containing more information, EarthSky at this link:

“On March 20 – the same date as the 2015 March equinox – the moon turns new only 14 hours after reaching lunar perigee – moon’s closest point to Earth in its orbit. Thus, this moon is a supermoon – at the new phase – not visible in our sky, but having a larger-than-average effect on Earth’s oceans. Plus, this new supermoon swings right in front of the equinox sun on March 20, so that the moon’s shadow falls on parts of Earth. Follow the links below to learn more.”

Total eclipse of the sun on November 11, 2012. Image via NASA
Eclipse photo courtesy of NASA.

As we peruse upcoming options for various gaps in our schedule, seasons and their weather patterns are a tremendous factor in where we decide to go. With our upcoming two years, most of which is currently scheduled, we’ve begun to contemplate how we’ll fill a 67-day gap from June 26 to September 1, 2016.

As we inch closer to this gap which seemed so long away just a short time ago, we begin to start reviewing our options. This is the gap between our two bookings in Bali, Indonesia for the house we wanted for four months total, in two increments of two months each, the maximum allowable time for a visa in that country.

This morning as the sun was attempting to peek out between the cloud cover.

Looking at a map as to where we could easily and quickly fly from Bali, there are numerous options at affordable fares. However, the weather is a factor. If we go back to Australia, we’d have to stay in the northern part of the continent to avoid the colder south with temperatures in the near-freezing range, not appealing to us.

As much as we’d like to return to New Zealand to the south island, the weather is definitely a consideration, when it tends to be cooler there most of the time based on its southern proximity. 

All of these factors weigh heavily as we contemplate our next bookings. Any suggestions from our readers would be greatly appreciated, keeping in mind wherever we go we’d like to stay in one property and, prefer warm weather. Feel free to email or post a comment or suggestion at the end of today’s post. 
Julie had the triple crab cake sandwiches on sweet Hawaiian bread.

Julie leaves tonight. We’ve so enjoyed the time together for the three of us and for she and I alone, sisters sharing great memories, private thoughts and hopes, and dreams, as sisters often do. I’m truly blessed to have my two sisters. As the one in the middle, Julie eight years younger than I, and Susan, four years older, we’ve always stayed in close touch and have been there for one another.

Yesterday, Julie and I had a delicious lunch at the Princeville Westin. This was my bacon burger which included a small side salad.

Tom and I will settle back into our easy pleasant lifestyle filled with social activities (more tomorrow night), sightseeing, visits to the club, and hanging out frequently with our dear friend Richard, our personal social director.

We still have many photos yet to share of my tours with Julie over these past eight days. Please check back for more.

Have a rewarding weekend beginning on this first day of spring.

                                            Photo from one year ago today, March 20, 2014:

We still laugh over our faux pas. On our way out to lunch, we approached the guard at this interesting building asking if we could look inside. The guards said, “No Madam, this is the palace of the king.” For details from this date, please click here.

A night out on the town…Dinner for four…Fun times…People photos at last!…

Julie and I, happy to be together at long last. The last time we saw her was when she came to San Diego on January 3, 2013, to see us off on the ship, our first trip outside the US on our year’s long journey. Now, here we are together again, 26 months later.

Hoping for a reprieve from cooking, we decided dinner out for Tom, Julie and I and friend Richard on St. Patrick’s Day was a perfect idea. Meeting at Bubba’s Burgers in downtown Hanalei, we wandered across the street to Bouchons Grill, an establishment with mixed reviews at TripAdvisor.

My sister Julie was ready for her Mai Tai.

We are not unlike other diners, at times throwing the mediocre reviews in the wind and going for ambiance and fun atmosphere over exquisite dining. With my way of eating, quality ingredients are my choice over fancy sauces and multi-ingredients recipes and courses. 

Richard was ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with us.

Although we’d have loved for Julie to experience highly-rated local restaurants, we knew she wouldn’t enjoy herself, nor would Tom or Richard if there was nothing on the menu that worked for me. At Bouchons it not only worked out well for me, but the others as well, enjoying good fresh food at reasonable prices.

Tom and Richard toasting on St. Patrick’s Day.

With Kobe beef on the menu, I opted for a burger, cooked medium, atop a salad of fresh greens which was delicious. Tom had the teriyaki chicken and ribs, Julie had their house special which is always fish and chips and, Richard devoured the macadamia encrusted mahi-mahi. 

Nothing like Mai Tai’s for three to start the night.

Added to their luscious looking Mai Tai’s and my perfectly prepared unsweetened iced tea, we were happy diners with the over-the-top-service and playful atmosphere in the open-air dining establishment, more often frequented by tourists than locals from what we could determine. Richard said he’d never tried this restaurant after many years on the island.

Richard had the macadamia nut encrusted mahi-mahi with roasted potatoes and mango salsa. 

Arriving at 6:45, we had no trouble getting a table. By 7:30, it was packed.  Whether it was due to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations or usual circumstances in a busy tourist season, we had no idea. Surely, Tom and I will return at least once more before we leave the island in a little over two months.

Julie had the house special, fish, and chips, which she said had a light batter, wasn’t greasy, and tasted “fantastic.”

Since it was son Richard’s birthday, we decided to let friend Richard represent son Richard’s birthday. After dinner, he enjoyed a  slice of frozen chocolate mint birthday cake with three forks included in today’s photos.

The total bill for four with drinks, dessert, and a generous tip was a total of $140, not bad for a popular tourist town like Hanalei or anywhere on the island for that matter. What impressed me the most was the special care our waiter took attending to my order. In reality, my diet causes little fussing;  meat without added starches or sugar, greens, and vegetables without sauce.  Easy. 

Tom had the teriyaki chicken and ribs, fries, and a small side salad.  He too said his meal was delicious.
Often I order a little cup of mayonnaise for dipping which seems to have no ill effects. He was right on the ball, checking back to ensure everything was perfect. It’s this kind of service that inspires us to return to a restaurant along with fresh food served hot and flavorful. It’s not a lot to ask and yet seems to be a challenge for some establishments throughout the world.  

Last night, Wednesday, we were invited to new friends Bev and Sam’s beautiful home for dinner. It was a potluck as is often the case here in the islands with the outrageous costs for food.  We love that concept and I enjoyed cooking and bringing our share. Also, I baked Julie’s favorite cake German Chocolate which I’d always made for her on her birthday in years past.

Here’s my grilled Kobe beef burger atop a bed of fresh greens. I swapped the salad dressing on the right for the mayo when I detected sugar in it. Few salad dressings work for my way of eating.

There was no way I was keeping that cake away from Tom when this is also his favorite. To keep them both happy, I made a double batch, leaving a cake at home for them to devour over the next few days. They’ll have no trouble accomplishing this feat when I just noticed Tom cutting himself a lofty piece for breakfast when he usually has this low carb egg thing I make in case he’s hungry. 

We had a lovely evening with Bev and Sam in their gorgeous comfortable home. Julie, having won an Emmy Award for producing the PBS TV series, “Gardens of the World” with Audrey Hepburn years ago, was pleased to have Bev give her the tour of their exquisite gardens. Most recently, Julie was one of the producers on another TV series, America Now with Leeza Gibbons. See photo below.

Julie on the left on the production set with production associate Dana, Lulu (singer, “To Sir with Love”), Leeza Gibbons, former co-host of a syndicated news show, America Now, (and recent winner of Celebrity Apprentice).

As I watched him take out the egg thing from the refrigerator (I made a new batch yesterday), I almost saw the light bulb go off in his head when he remembered the cake. He put the square of the egg dish back into the container and back into the refrigerator with a smile on his face as he cut off a piece of the cake. In a funny way, I was happy to see him enjoy a treat for a change when otherwise, he meticulously dines “my way” when we dine in (not so much when dining out).

Sadly, tomorrow night Julie leaves. Its been wonderful having her here with us. Luckily, there have been a few sunny days during her stay and she’s been able to lounge on the beach as well as see many of the local sights, many more of which we’ve yet to share here.

In a few months, we’ll be far away making it difficult for anyone to visit us. It’s a long way from Australia to the US, a 21 hour time difference from where we are now in Hawaii, a 16 hour time difference from central time in the US mainland. The world is a big place and we’ve yet to explore the “tip of the iceberg.”  Oh yes, we plan to go there too.

                                               Photo from one year ago today, March 19, 2014:

This was the only photo we posted on this date, one year ago. Stepping on grates is hazardous and we posted this as a reminder to other travelers to stay off of these. Attempting to recover from the intestinal illness I’d had since our first meal in a restaurant in Morocco, I succumbed, almost three weeks later,  to beginning a dose of Cipro which much to our delight started working within hours. What a relief! For details from that date, please click here.

What’s Kuhio Road all about?…Touring the island continue to please our visitor…

Apparently, a visitor was killed on this beach at the end of Anina Beach, a desirable beach only 15 minutes from Princeville. This was sad to see.

Kauai doesn’t have many highways and certainly nothing that remotely appears to be a freeway. Once we exit the planned community of Princeville, we have the option of heading to the right on Kuhio Highway, which continues past Hanalei until the road ends at Ke’e Beach on the Napali Coast where we spotted the Hawaiian monk sea

Tom and I had seen this “wet cave” as we neared the end of the road in the Napali Coast. Swimmers aren’t allowed to enter this cave.

Or, if we turn to the left at Kuhio Highway, we can continue on to Lihue where the airport is located and then on to one of a few highways that continue through Poipu at the southern tip on the map, ultimately heading to the west where again, the road ends.

Of course, there are many side roads entering residential areas, farms, ranches with much of the island consisting of undeveloped areas, including beaches, mountains, valleys, and hills.

The rip currents in many of the beaches are dangerous resulting in the death of a tourist almost every day, based on news reports.

If one were to drive from the top north, west of Princeville to the far southwest, it may take less than three hours providing road construction and traffic is at a minimum. That’s how small this island really is. 

The huge waves also pose a risk for swimmers who may not be familiar with navigating the currents. Even experienced swimmers and surfers fall prey to these risks.

Reality dictates that driving through many of the small towns along the way results in numerous delays, especially in the resort towns. Let’s face it, with the gorgeous beaches on this island, most towns along the coast are in fact resort towns.

It was overcast and cloudy when Julie and I visited this beach.

In yesterday’s post, we described mine and Julie’s visit to the town of Kapaa as shown on the map on the east coast near the center. It took 30 minutes to get to Kapaa. Had we driven further south for another 15 minutes, we have made it to Lihue.

There are hundreds of varieties of trees on the island.

After Tom and I traveled almost the full perimeter of the island on February 19th, we both agree that we’ve especially enjoyed the north and east coasts of the island, as opposed to the south beyond Poipu. 

The cliffs at Tunnels Beach on the way to the Napali Coast.

Although the southern area of the island has numerous attractions suitable for adventure-minded visitors and those seeking beautiful scenery, there’s hardly a spot on the island that isn’t scenic. Even on the interior of the island, exquisite scenery is available at every turn.

We stopped at a local Farmer’s Market on the way to Kapaa a few days ago. We purchased a root of turmeric, a huge bunch of Swiss chard, two huge bunches of green beans, and an enormous avocado, all organic and non-GMO.

By the time we depart Kauai in a little over two months, without a doubt, we feel we’ll have seen most of which is suitable for our type of exploration, excluding what remains of the exceedingly rough terrain desired by adept and experienced hikers, which doesn’t include us.

We always try to buy from local farmers as much as possible.  A few days ago we went to the local Princeville gas station where on the inside they sell grass-fed beef at excellent prices from the Princeville Ranch. On Friday, we’re touring the ranch with the owner, hoping the share photos and the story of farming grass-fed beef in  Kauai.

We’ve definitely experienced some rough terrain but, with our desire to avoid injuries, we’ve kept those types of treks to a minimum. With nightly reports on the news, almost every night we hear of tourists succumbing to serious injury or death on many of the dangerous trails being swept away into the ocean at various points of interest, such as at the Queen’s Bath which we recently visited.

As for Julie and me, we continue to scour the north and east side of the island easily keeping us busy each day.  She loves the beaches and has also taken off a few times on her own to explore and lounge on a beach to relax and read a book while I’ve stayed behind take care of household tasks, grocery shop, prepare meals, workout and work on photos and the next day’s post. 

Many popular beaches are in a covered area, providing some protection for the swimmers.

Today, we’re off to Kilauea to finally visit the lighthouse. On several occasions Tom and I have stopped by, yet to actually take the tour when the lines were too long. Julie and I are determined to wait it out until we get in. Hopefully, we’ll return tomorrow with photos from the actual tour.

Tonight, we’re dinner guests of our new friends Bev and Sam whose property we toured on “movie night” a few weeks ago, posting many photos of their amazing property a day later. They’ve since invited the three of us for an evening at their home. We’re looking forward to a wonderful evening!

Have a fulfilling “hump day.”

                                            Photo from one year ago today, March 18, 2014:

The tourists usually arrive on Thursdays and Fridays to spend the weekend shopping in the souks and dining in the Big Square (the Medina). For details from that date, please click here.

More to see, new and old…The wonder of it all never disappoints…Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those who celebrate…HB RL!!

Plumeria growing on a sparse tree.  Spring is in the air.

Recently, Julie and I have visited many locations I’d already seen with Tom. Kauai is not a huge island, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised when I’ve been equally ecstatic to see these points of interest yet another time. 

We arrived in Kapaa town around noon. After stopping at the local health food store to restock almond flour, the cashier explained that this resort across the street was definitely worthy of a visit and bite to eat. She was right in her assessment. The resort has great reviews on TripAdvisor.
The entrance to the resort was totally empty when we entered, although we saw guests by the pool, in the restaurant, and walking on the paths.

Never bored for a moment, my eyes peruse the same beaches, same scenes, and same popular spots with a renewed curiosity as to what I may have missed last time. And of course, we’ve discovered new spots as shown in today’s photos.

The beach at the resort is easy to access and pristine.

On each occasion, something new was to be discovered, to be photographed, with a totally different perspective. It’s funny how excited we can become showing someone we love, something we love. Over these past days, soon to end, we’ve seen a lot.

The resort’s grounds include easy walking paths parallel to the shoreline.

On Friday night, a mere three days from today, Julie returns to Los Angeles to an entirely different world, a world to which I no longer connect, nor have I for 50 years. 

Seating provided at the beach for resort guests.

I grew up in Long Beach, California, which is as far removed from my reality as anyplace I can imagine. The traffic, the people, the cost of living (Julie says not unlike here in Hawaii) is something I can’t imagine we’d ever want in our lives again.

The food in the Oasis restaurant at the resort was delicious according to Julie. Her lunch of fish taco was prepared perfectly and fresh. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one item on the menu that worked for me and I wasn’t hungry enough to ask for special modifications. I ordered an iced tea and was content to be with my sister as we looked out at the sea.

Looking back at the rush hour traffic, the long lines, the crowds, we now realize that living in any big city in the US or, outside the US, is not a life for us after living this simple life in the world in more remote locations, always anticipating a move to yet another exciting location.

A Kolea bird, common along the shoreline.

We can only work at good health and hope and pray that it will provide us with the opportunity to continue on in our travels for many years to come. We accept that not worrying about it is our best option, in actuality our only option.  Worry only creates bad health, not improves it. We both choose not to worry. 

More walking paths in the Waipouli  Beach Resort and Spa.

Sure, from time to time we suffer from maladies which even my diligent way of eating, which greatly reduces inflammation, cannot defer. We each have a few age-related issues that at any point could immobilize us. 

The pool’s waterfall.

With our healthy way of eating, staying active, walking a lot, exercising (me, only), and maintaining an upbeat attitude, we hope we can hold off the ravages of bad health commensurate with old age for a few years, extending the quality of life well into our 80s, 90s and more. God willing (or your choice of a higher power, or not).

A portion of the pool with a waterfall. 

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and a part of the world celebrates this day with merriment and celebration. Today is also eldest son’s birthday and that has always superseded St. Patrick’s Day in my mind on this particular date.  Happy birthday, Richard! We’re thinking of you with love and good wishes.

Beautiful beaches never disappoint.

Please bear with us over the next many days, in that we’re sharing new photos of places we may have shared in the past, considering the new eyes that beheld them with a renewed degree of excitement and awe.

Even on cloudy days, one will always find beachgoers, hoping for a bit of sunshine.  Often, the clouds clear, if only for a short while.

The world is an amazing place. We find that wherever we may be, there is always a treasure to behold right before us, whether big or small, scary, or gentle for which, we are always eternally grateful.

Have a safe playful day!

                                              Photo from one year ago today, March 17, 2014:

It was one year ago today, that we decided to stay put. The intestinal virus I’d acquired from the salad in the first few days in March upon arriving in Marrakech had gotten the best of me. It was time to begin taking the Cipro which I tried to avoid for weeks.  Getting weaker by the day, I began taking the antibiotic which began working in less than a few hours. For details from this date, please click here.